Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Lunar Woods, a Russian alternative rock outfit producing some really compelling content. They’re a younger group, one that has already defined themselves as rather prolific, releasing a huge amount of content since their inception in 2013. For our purposes here on the Spotlight, we’re going to take a peek at ‘Hey, Doc,’ a tune dropped around that era of their music.
Right off the bat, ‘Hey Doc’ isn’t a ‘Back to the Future’ reference, nor is it a ‘MASH’ reference. (Both of my impressions after seeing the release title, but that’s probably just because I’m a geek.) Rather the lyrics are a dark, atmospheric romp through the lead vocalist continually appealing to ‘doc.’ There is a distinct vintage flair to Lunar Woods’ music; they classify themselves as alt-rock, but their roots are definitely within classic rock. There are tinges of progressive influence, 80s rock, (Good 80s rock, not hair band 80s rock.) and classic themes. This would have been a sound just at home in 1968 as it would be in 1981 and it is today. I love that, because it shows a culmination of influence that clicks. Sometimes, indie acts can’t discern originality out of that and end up meandering around obscurity.
‘Hey, Doc’ is remarkably well produced, and it’s a joy to listen to on a quality stereo system due to its intricacies in the panning. Compositionally, the instrumentation is tactfully performed and Lunar Woods’ prowess is abundantly obvious throughout the excursion. I love the sparse harmonies and piano pieces - all of those little things help flesh out the song more than if the group just performed it traditionally.
Lunar Woods make a compelling statement for their relevance and potential with ‘Hey, Doc!’ It’s a sharply executed exhibition of their raw talent and compositional strength. Also, the three click on a collaborative level - nothing ever feels misplaced on ‘Hey, Doc.’ It’s an organic sound that gives the group plenty of room to grow. In fact, I’d argue its a strong stepping stone more than anything, opening up gateways for the outfit to experiment into even deeper, more complex landscapes. Keep tabs on them; they’re worth watching.